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Also known as caps, dental crowns are used to treat damaged, decayed or missing teeth. Crowns can also be used to treat chipped teeth or to even replace another crown. If you have a tooth that’s broken, decayed or missing, a crown is able to restore its function, strength and aesthetic appeal. If you require dental crowns and neglect to follow up, then you may face further dental problems such as tooth decay or other damage to your teeth.
Types of Crowns
There are three main materials used for crowns in cosmetic dentistry.
Gold crowns were used traditionally in dentistry to treat damaged or missing teeth. Today, they are a less popular choice but are still used for those who grind their teeth in order to give more support to the preserved tooth structure. Gold crowns are also ideal for back teeth where you won’t easily spot them as they provide superior durability.
Porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns give your tooth structure strength and durability as well as beauty. Cosmetic dentists like to use porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns because these crowns leave a good amount of space when preparing the tooth for crown insertion. These crowns, however, may reveal the metal at the gum line. This occurs when gums eventually recede. When clients choose this type of crown, they simply get the crown replaced as their gums recede in order to preserve the aesthetic appeal.
3) Porcelain (all ceramic)
This is the most popular choice of crowns today as they provide superior beauty. If you don’t have that much space in your tooth structure, porcelain crowns are an ideal option since they are produced with a condensed thickness of ceramic material.
About the Procedure
To get your crowns, your cosmetic dentist first takes impressions of your teeth and sends them to the dental lab. There, a technician uses the impressions to design your permanent crown or crowns. Meanwhile, your cosmetic dentist inserts a temporary crown called a Flipper to protect your tooth.
When your permanent crown is ready, your cosmetic dentist replaces the Flipper with the permanent crown.
Today, technological advances have allowed a more efficient use of time. If your dental office has CAD/CAM technology—a computer-aided technology that shows a 3-D picture of your tooth/teeth—then temporary crowns are not required.